Secrets of ‘Wild Geese’ soldiers revealed

Secrets of ‘Wild Geese’ soldiers revealed

The legacy of soldiers who left Ireland hundreds of years ago to fight for continental armies will be explored at a public lecture next week.

During the early modern

period of European history – from around 1500 to 1800 – many tens of thousands

of Irish men left home to enlist in armies abroad, principally those of France

and the Hasburgs, then Europe's richest family.

They become known as 'The Wild

Geese' – latterly the inspiration for the title of the 1978 film of the same

name starring Richard Burton and Roger Moore as British mercenaries.

However, much about these

Irish soldiers remains relatively unclear.

"While the Wild Geese have

not lacked a historian, the numbers who left Ireland,

their motives for leaving, their impact on the host societies, and the memory

of their exploits in Ireland

are still debated," explained Thomas Bartlett, Professor of Irish History at

the University of

Aberdeen.

His public lecture on the Wild

Geese will take place at King's College Conference Centre on Monday, November

10 at 6pm as part of the University

of Aberdeen's Inaugural

Lecture series.

He said: "The lecture will

seek to outline earlier writings on these soldiers and address some of the

other issues surrounding their role and legacy in modern Irish history. It will

also examine Irish attitudes towards the British Empire

in the nineteenth century."

Professor Bartlett's lecture The

Wild Geese. Reflections on the History of the Irish soldiers in the Service of

France in the Eighteenth Century takes place on Monday, November 10 at 6pm at

the Kings College Conference Centre, University

of Aberdeen.

  The lecture will be followed by an informal wine reception.

Places are free for the lecture,

and can be booked online at www.abdn.ac.uk/inaugurallectures

or by calling 01224 273 874. 


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